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Submission + - Court rules disloyal employees who access workplace computers are not hackers (

dcraid writes: US v. Nosal

In April 2012, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an important decision that disloyal employees who access workplace computers in violation of corporate policy do not break federal anti-hacking law.

In United States v. Nosal, an ex-employee of an executive recruiting firm was prosecuted on the theory that he induced current company employees to use their legitimate credentials to access the company's proprietary database and provide him with information in violation of corporate computer-use policy. The government claimed that the violation of this private policy was a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). Following a decision issued in 2009 by the Ninth Circuit, the district court ruled that violations of corporate policy are not equivalent to violations of federal computer crime law.

The government appealed to the Ninth Circuit, where EFF argued in an amicus brief that turning mere violations of company policies into computer crimes could potentially create a massive expansion of the CFAA turning millions of law-abiding workers into criminals. In April 2011 a three-judge panel ruled that an employee violates the CFAA when she uses a computer in way that violates an employer's restrictions, but the Ninth Circuit later agreed to rehear the case. On April 10, 2012, the en banc court ruled 9-2 that running afoul of a corporate computer use restriction does not violate the CFAA.


Submission + - Google, Amazon, Microsoft Go East for Network Gear 1

theodp writes: Wired's Cade Metz has the scoop on the move away from U.S. network equipment stalwarts, calling it of the best-kept secrets in Silicon Valley. 'Cloud computing is an arms race,' writes Metz. 'The biggest web companies on earth are competing to see who can deliver their services to the most people in the shortest amount of time at the lowest cost. And the cheapest arms come straight from Asia.' Or, as Joyent's Howard Wu puts it, 'It's kind of like buying couches. If you buy one, you go to a retail store. If you buy 10,000 couches, you go straight to the factory.' Hey, maybe Mike Daisey will get a chance to redeem himself with a new show!
User Journal

Journal Journal: Xerox - My Final Rant 5

OK, it's not my rant, someone else has done much better that I ever could. It's the US-centric view.

I don't care so much any more since my former colleagues are now finding new and better jobs elsewhere, but I really do think that people should know how workers are being treated and how investors' money is being used.


Submission + - The Message to the Future That Saved a Village 1

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Disaster researcher José Holguín-Veras writes in the LA Times that when he went to Japan after the Tohoku earthquake he discovered a message sent across 50 generations that saved the residents of a fishing village called Murohama. "A millennium ago, the residents of Murohama, knowing they were going to be inundated, had sought safety on the village's closest hill. But they had entered into a deadly trap," writes Holguín-Veras. "A second wave, which had reached the interior of the island through an inlet, was speeding over the rice paddies from the opposite direction." The waves collided at the hill and killed those who had taken refuge there. To signify their grief and to advise future generations, the survivors erected a shrine on the deadly hill. During his research Holguín-Veras found records in the local temple pinpointing the tsunami to 1,142 years ago that coincided with the massive Jogan Jishin earthquake of 869. On March 11, 2011 residents relied on the lesson that had been transmitted generation to generation for 1,000 years. "We all knew the story about the two tsunami waves that collided at the shrine," and instead of taking refuge on hill with the shrine, they took the time to get to high ground farther away and watched two tsunami waves colliding at the hill, just as they did long ago. "I know that science and engineering save lives. But in this instance neither did much to help," says Holguín-Veras. "Reaching out from the distant past, long-gone ancestors — and a deeply embedded story — saved their children.""

Submission + - Psychic ability claim doesn't hold up in new scientific experiments (

cold fjord writes: Stunning news from the world of science:

A new study has failed to find evidence that psychic ability is real. Skeptics may scoff at the finding as obvious, but the research is important because it refutes a study published in a psychological journal last year that claimed to find evidence of extrasensory perception. That research, conducted by Daryl Bem of Cornell University, triggered outrage in the psychological community when the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology announced in 2010 that the paper had been accepted for publication.

Academic paper link


Submission + - Tablet computer designed 15 years before iPad; prior art, anyone? (

Doofus writes: The Washington Post has a profile of Roger Fidler, who "invented" the tablet computer in the 1990s, while working as a visionary for newspaper firm Knight-Ridder. He is now embroiled in the Apple/Samsung legal war, as an expert witness. Fidler admits that other prior art influenced him, such as the tablets being used as computing devices in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Prior prior art.

Submission + - Mika Mobile to Cease Development for Android (

unassimilatible writes: Developers of the hit games Battleheart and Zombieville USA, Mika Mobile, have announced today that they will no longer be spending time developing their games for Android, DroidGamers reports. Mika Mobile's blog states the reason is, Android is simply too much work for too little profit. "We spent about 20% of our total man-hours last year dealing with Android in one way or another — porting, platform specific bug fixes, customer service, etc. I would have preferred spending that time on more content for you, but instead I was thanklessly modifying shaders and texture formats to work on different GPUs, or pushing out patches to support new devices without crashing, or walking someone through how to fix an installation that wouldn't go through. We spent thousands on various test hardware. These are the unsung necessities of offering our apps on Android. Meanwhile, Android sales amounted to around 5% of our revenue for the year, and continues to shrink. Needless to say, this ratio is unsustainable."

Submission + - TSA 'Censoring' Media on Body Scanner Failures? ( 1

OverTheGeicoE writes: When anti-TSA activist Jonathan Corbett exposed a severe weakness in TSA's body scanners, one would expect the story to attract a lot of media attention. Apparently TSA is attempting to stop reporters from covering the story. According to Corbett, at least one reporter has been 'strongly cautioned' by TSA spokeswoman Sari Koshetz not to cover the story. If TSA is worried that this is new information they need to suppress to keep it away from terrorists, that horse may have left the barn years ago. Corbett's demonstration may just be confirmation of a 2010 paper in the Journal of Transportation Security that concluded that 'an object such as a wire or a boxcutter blade, taped to the side of the body, or even a small gun in the same location, will be invisible' to X-ray scanners.

Comment That would require them admitting ... (Score 1) 9

They would have to admit that the rapid release cycle is a bad idea.

They can't do that for marketing reasons - "OMG we're falling behind in the version numbers race."

I blame Microsoft. They started this whole trend when they jumped from Word 2.0 to Word 6.0 to be seen as equal to Wordperfect 6.0.

"Release early - release often" doesn't create quality products.

"Oh, but we'll get earlier feedback from real users" - so your users are all guinea pigs whether they asked to be or not, and you'd rather confuse them than revisit every decision a dozen times to make sure it's the right one. -1 lazy, -1 stupid.

"But it's Internet Time" - people don't live on "Internet Time." Extensions don't get updated on "Internet Time." "Internet Time" is a myth created by the "release early - release often" syndrome. Confusing an interim test product with the final result is the only way to excuse this. -1 bogus.

"We have to keep up with everyone else" - really? Where is that written? [citation needed], and all that. If "keeping up with everyone else" means trashing your reputation and your user base, you aren't keeping up, you're giving away the keys to the store. -1 wtf.

"We need to innovate to stay ahead." - confusing uncontrolled change with innovation. According to that definition, cancer is innovative. And it risks having the same end result. -1 short-sighted. -1 zombies.

"People aren't paying for it, so why listen to their complaints?" Works so well for Ubuntu - until it stopped working. Now people take every announcement from Shuttleworth as a "me-to" joke. Your primary customer is Google - the fewer users you have, the less your customer will pay you. You got lucky this time - 3 years from now, you won't be so lucky, since Microsoft by then will have finished their EOLing of XP and won't need you for eyeballs either unless you want to go real low-ball. Do you really believe nothing will change in 3 years? -1 wishful thinking -1 crass. -1 insulting.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Mozilla 9

Dear Mozilla developers. I know you're a bunch of incompetent morons, but would it really be so hard to change that and release a decent product? Please?

Submission + - Facebook, Twitter Are Harder to Resist Than Cigarettes, Alcohol

An anonymous reader writes: Checking a Twitter, Facebook or email account for updates may be more tempting than alcohol and cigarettes, according to researchers who tried to measure how well people regulate their daily desires.

Researchers also found that while sleep and sex may be stronger urges than certain drug addictions, people are more likely to give in to their addiction to use social or other types of media.

Submission + - Most Malware Tied to 'Pay-Per-Install' Market (

angel.wardriver writes: New research suggests that the majority of personal computers infected with malicious software may have arrived at that state thanks to a bustling underground market that matches criminal gangs who pay for malware installations with enterprising hackers looking to sell access to compromised PCs.

Submission + - The Rise of Filter Bubbles (

eldavojohn writes: Eli Pariser gave a talk at TED that posits that tailoring algorithms are creating 'filter bubbles' around each user that restricts the information that reaches you to be — unsurprisingly — only what you want to see. While you might be happy that your preferred liberal or conservative news hits you, you'll never get to see the converse. This is because Google, Facebook, newspaper sites and even Netflix filter what hits you before you get to see it. And since they give you what you want, you never see the opposing viewpoints or step outside your comfort zone. It amounts to a claim of censorship through personalization and now that every site does it, it's commingle a problem. Pariser calls for all sites implementing these algorithms to embed in the algorithms "some sense of public life" and also have transparency so you can understand why your Google search might look different than someone with opposing tastes. Is there even a way to opt for unfiltered searches on Amazon or unfiltered news feeds on Facebook? Pariser has been warning about this for at least a year.

Submission + - High-Tech Gas Drilling Is Fouling Drinking Water (

sciencehabit writes: Drilling for natural gas locked deep in a shale formation--a process known as fracking--has seriously contaminated shallow groundwater supplies beneath far northeastern Pennsylvania with flammable methane. That’s the conclusion of a new study, published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The analysis gives few clues, however, to how pervasive such contamination might be across the wide areas of the Northeast United States, Texas, and other states where drilling for shale gas has taken off in recent years.

We're here to give you a computer, not a religion. - attributed to Bob Pariseau, at the introduction of the Amiga